News

New Conducting Chair a 'complete musician' who worked with Leonard Bernstein


13 June 2013

Maestro Eduardo Diazmuñoz is internationally recognised as one of the most versatile musicians of his generation. [Image: Lorena Alcaraz Minor]
Maestro Eduardo Diazmuñoz is internationally recognised as one of the most versatile musicians of his generation. [Image: Lorena Alcaraz Minor]

In a coup for the Sydney Conservatorium of Music at the University of Sydney, the Mexican-Spanish conductor Maestro Eduardo Diazmuñoz has been named the new Professor of Conducting and Music Director of the Conservatorium Orchestra.

Maestro Diazmuñoz, whose mentors have included Leonard Bernstein, Léon Barzin, Francisco Savín and Aurora Serratos, is internationally recognised as one of the most versatile musicians of his generation. He is the first Mexican conductor to have been nominated three times for a Latin Grammy Award (twice in the Best Classical Album category) and the first to win a Latin Grammy in the Best Instrumental Album category. Sales of his el Tri Sinfónico recordings have led to gold and platinum awards.

Dean of the Conservatorium, Professor Karl Kramer, said the committee's decision to appoint Maestro Diazmuñoz after an extensive international search was a unanimous one.

"Throughout his 37-year conducting career in 15 countries, Maestro Diazmuñoz has built a stellar international reputation as a conductor, composer, pianist, educator, promoter, organiser, arts advocate, producer, editor, and gifted lecturer. He is regarded as a 'complete' musician who fuses 'old school' training - forged under mentors - with love, commitment and passion, and a musical curiosity that has led to some 150 premieres," Professor Kramer said.

Diazmuñoz began his musical training as a pianist, later playing percussion and cello. He taught himself to play several other instruments before deciding to devote his energy and time to conducting and composing.

He first came to public attention at the age of 22 in his Palacio de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Palace) debut in Mexico City. He has since conducted more than 100 orchestras, 15 of them as resident conductor, recorded more than 35 CDs, and has occupied posts ranging from assistant conductor to general music director in six countries.

Professor Diazmuñoz says he was attracted to the Conservatorium's similarities with the institution where he trained as a young man, the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City.

He is also looking forward to collaborating again with Dean Kramer, who he has previously worked with at New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida, and at the University of Illinois.

"He is a great leader with a fantastic vision: I simply love to work with him. I want to be part of this Conservatorium, of this splendid University, and contribute my best to further develop their amazing growth."

Professor Diazmuñoz will begin a partial appointment from 1 August to 30 September this year, before commencing full time at the Conservatorium on 15 February 2014.

Professor Diazmuñoz has been a laureate of the Mexican Union of Theatre and Music Chronicles an unprecedented four times (1978, 1987, 1997 and 2002). In 1975 the President of Mexico presented him with the National Youth Value Award. In 2003 he received the Musician of the Year Award from the International Biographical Centre in Cambridge, England.

He has held numerous academic posts, including at the National Autonomous University and the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City, the Société Philharmonic in Paris and the New World School of the Arts in Miami. He is currently Artistic and Music Director of the Opera Division at the University of Illinois.

He recently composed, conducted, played and produced the music for the Mexican feature film Espíritu de Triunfo (Spirit of Triumph), due to be screened internationally later this year. He is currently composing a symphonic suite based on themes he developed for this film.


Follow University of Sydney Media on Twitter

Media enquiries: Kath Kenny, 02 9351 1584, 0478 303 173, kath.kenny@sydney.edu.au